About Impact

Friday, August 21, 2009

Funny Morning

I hate the first few hours of the school day. Mostly because I'm not a morning person. However, this year is different. I've never laughed this much this early in the morning.

I have 8th graders first hour. They walked in to see a long rehearsal order and new reed prices (a significant increase) posted on the board. Then I heard this from a GSM student,

Student: (quite loudly) Oh my Lord!
Miss Koutz: Uh, would you like to try that again?
Student: (same volume) Oh my Holy Spirit!

I couldn't hold back the laughter. I tried but it just didn't work. The entire class was full of funny comments. There is no way I could write them all down. Most of them include inside jokes for our class and if you aren't familiar with middle school students you wouldn't laugh anyway.

After class, I told two girls they needed to pick up the pace or they would be late. One of them thought I told her to pick up her pants. Her response:

Student: (Tries to pull up pants) I know I was already pulled over for them being too long.
Miss Koutz: Not pants, pace. You need to hurry up or you'll be late.
Student: Oh! I thought you were talking about my pants because I was pulled over this.....
Miss Koutz: What!? You really did just say pulled over!? Were you driving your car down the hallway?
Student: Yea I got a ticket too.

She really did explain her dress code violation as if a cop had pulled her over on the road. Then I met with my principal about some upcoming transitions and I'm pretty sure she cracked jokes about every Old Testament story there is including calling herself Abednego. We walked out of her office so hard people turned and walked the opposite direction rolling their eyes.

Okay so only about two of you really understand how funny those conversations are and why it is so funny to me I would dedicate an entire post to it. The rest of you will have to just deal with it because it is my blog. I sure hope the rest of the day goes this well. I'm teaching double duty this afternoon.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Living Examples of Jesus, Part 10

I love camp!!!! Over the last year or so I've had the chance to reconnect (Thank you facebook!) with some of the faculty members that allowed God to use them to impact my life when I was a camper. Their obedience to God literally shaped the rest of my journey. And yes I stole all of these pictures from facebook. Stop judging me!

Camp Faculty Members

Don Stowell
(you should add a picture to facebook so I can steal it)
When I was in middle school I insisted on attending the 8th & 9th grade camp lead by Don. At first it was because it was closer to being high school week than the 7th & 8th week but after that it was because the week was so incredibly amazing! Every time you walked by Don at camp there was a high five or a hug followed by incredible words of encouragement. I imagine Jesus was much like that, encouraging the people he came in contact with. I remember one summer I was frustrated and didn't think there was really anything I could do well. I don't know if he had caught wind of this or not but one night he pulled me aside and listed the things I had done that week that had impacted someone else. He even gave me a nickname the reflected that. Reminds me of when Jesus gave Peter his name.

Tracy and Wendy Tooley
At one of those weeks of middle school camp, Tracy and Wendy Tooley were my family leaders. WOW!!! Talk about one incredible family group. I never thought I would meet people who were so passionate about Jesus and knew how to have a ton of fun. I remember family discussions about God's forgiveness and unfailing love. Every time we had verses ready to recite to them, Tracy will drill us with questions about the meaning of the passage. Tracy and Wendy understood the value of taking family time and pouring into a group of students. They shared so much wisdom with us and I tried to soak in as much as I could. I'm sure the conversations and silly things we did were much like the times Jesus sat around with his 12 disciples.

DJ Weiss
When I was a high school camper, DJ lead the high school week. I also considered him my adopted youth minister. We did a ton of things at our church when I was in high school but we didn't have an official youth minister. DJ followed up with how things were going through out the school year. He would invite me to come along on trips or join Bible studies with his youth group. More than anything he always challenged me to spend more time in the word. He would ask how things were going and then immediately ask how my time with God had been. It was that accountability that helped me develop the discipline to spend time studying and praying daily. He never judged me when I got lazy. He just always pointed me back to the Father, just like Jesus.

Matt Schantz
I first remember meeting Matt when my brother, Matthew started attending CMU where Matt is the campus minister. I remember tagging along with Matthew to hang out with friends from His House or sit in on a Bible study. Then I went to high school week and Matt was there. Matt is another one of those incredibly encouraging people. I'll never forget the summer I was the only girl who decided to play ultimate frisbee. After the game Matt pulled me aside and said, "You're a pretty good frisbee player. Don't let anyone else ever tell you you can't do something because you are a girl. You have special gifts. Use them." Over the next few summers at camp and the times I saw him during the school year he helped me discover some leadership skills I didn't know I had and taught me how to start embracing them as a gift from God. Kind of reminds me how Jesus pulled out the gifts in some crazy fishermen.

There are many more stories and many more people. Check out some of the previous posts in this series or stay tuned. There will me more to come!

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Living Examples of Jesus, Part 9

I know I have been talking about adding to this list for months now but I'm actually going to do it this time. Thanks to a little encouragement from a friend to pick up the pace of my blogging. Look out ya'll!

Tom and Jill Neyhart
(I stole this picture from Lowell Kosak, who should start a blog.)

There is no other way to put it. These two are simply amazing! I first met them at camp several years ago and I have been challenged by them every summer since then. How many people would drive several hours to come prayer over the college campuses in your town?!

Tom has encouraged me over and over again to keep pursuing the gifts God has given me. At times when I feel like I don't have what it takes he is quick to offer a word of encouragement and a swift kick in the rear end to get me moving again. Plus he is a Reds fan, which makes him even more amazing.

Jill is full of so much wisdom and faith. I've learned so much from watching her lead in her own unique way. She has taught me the value of knowing when it is time to be hands-on and when it is time to be hands-off. I'm always amazed at how well she does that too. She has taught me about the value of pouring yourself into others even if you don't understand the whole situation.

Over the last year or so God has really stretched Tom and Jill and their faithfulness through it all is a great testimony to God's faithfulness. I listen to their stories and am blown away. All God calls us to do is to be obedient and he'll take care of the rest. Tom and Jill are such incredible examples of that truth. I'm so grateful for them!

Thanks for showing me Jesus friends!!!

Part 1: Jeffrey Myers
Part 2: Michael and Jeannette Cox
Part 3: Nellie "Granny" Hubbard
Part 4: Eric and Mary Christian
Part 5: Jason Miller
Part 6: Wally Lowman & DJ Olson
Part 7: Lois Koutz-Carver
Part 8: The Inner Circle